WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), HEAT member Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), and HEAT Co-Chairs Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) released the following statement in support of the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the nationwide injunction on pipeline construction activity under Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE):
“We applaud the Supreme Court’s order to reverse the unconstitutional nationwide injunction on pipeline construction activity under Nationwide Permit 12. This overly broad and unlawful nationwide injunction created uncertainty for dozens of pipeline projects across the country that support well-paying jobs and bring affordable and reliable American energy resources to households, consumers, and our allies around the world. Opponents of American energy dominance have repeatedly abused our court system to delay and drive up the cost of energy infrastructure projects, including those with regulatory approval such as the Atlantic Coast, Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. We hope courts will reject the ongoing challenges to these pipelines and Nationwide Permit 12 so our energy producers can get back to work and drive our economy as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In May, Whip Scalise, Rep. Armstrong, Rep. Duncan, and Rep. Mullin led a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr in support of the Department’s opposition to nationwide injunctions and the Department’s effort to challenge the District Court for the District of Montana’s nationwide injunction of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
“The issuance of a nationwide injunction by a district court is an unconstitutional assertion of judicial authority that exceeds principles of equitable relief,” the letter reads. “In these circumstances, a district court goes beyond the case and controversy at hand to enjoin the Executive Branch across the nation. Nationwide injunctions undermine equitable relief, unnecessarily affecting non-litigants by providing a remedy beyond what is necessary to redress the plaintiff’s injury.”
“The national application of this order will jeopardize thousands of utility line projects across several economic sectors, creating unnecessary delays and hindering the ability of the Executive Branch to support responsible infrastructure development. Since NWP 12 entered into effect in 2017, the USACE has verified over 38,000 pre-construction notifications. The vast majority of these projects are unrelated to the Northern Plains case. A nationwide injunction would disrupt reliance on the NWP 12 and require an individual Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for each project site. This is a time-consuming process requiring a case-by-case review that would needlessly extend permitting approvals by over 200 days on average, according to the USACE. This unnecessary delay would be devastating as our economy reopens in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly the nationwide application of this order is inappropriate as it would unnecessarily extend beyond the equitable relief sought by the Northern Plains plaintiffs.”